Startling statistic: 40 years ago, over 90% of babies were out of diapers by 18 months, and today, only 2% of babies are out of diapers by 2 years! Whether cloth or disposable, that’s a lot more diaper-time for today’s little ones.
Reading about Elimination Communication (EC) midway through pregnancy activated my green radar — baby peeing and pooping in the toilet (or in a little potty or other receptacle) equals less dirty diapers to wash. Less washing means less water and energy used — what wasn’t to love.
I read Diaper Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh, and it all seemed pretty straight forward. And then I had a baby . . . .
Matthew actually caught a few pees in the hospital, but between my surgery recovery and Gabriel’s fussiness, we got off to a pretty slow start with EC. I was pretty frustrated and discouraged, especially after the book made it sound so simple. Gabriel met our attempted potty opportunities with cries, but no pee or poop. We worried that his back was sore from the six UNNECESSARY lumbar punctures and that the potty position led to more pain.
The Dude is now 11 weeks old, and in the past few weeks, things seem to be clicking. Most pee and poop still happens in a diaper, but we consistently catch 2-4 pees a day. It is amazing how long he can stay dry, and he really does seem to know what is going on when we give him a potty opportunity.
When we’re home, we offer the potty when he wakes from a nap, and with almost every diaper change, using “psst, psst” to cue pees. I can read his poop signals pretty clearly, but at this point, he usually poops DURING a feeding, and I really don’t want to interrupt his meal just to set him on the pot. I do acknowledge the bowel movement by making the poop cue (we use a gentle grunt).
While we are far from diaper free, we are succeeding at Elimination Communication. Each catch provides encouragement to continue the journey and see where it ends.